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Caricom optimistic of Trump’s vision

Published: 
Thursday, January 19, 2017
President-elect Donald Trump, accompanied by his wife Melania Trump, waves as they arrive at Andrews Air Force Base, Md., Thursday, Jan. 19, 2017, ahead of Friday's inauguration. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)

Caribbean states are hoping America’s new Donald Trump administration - taking over from today - will continue trade and security arrangements as well as other structures which have traditionally been in force between Caricom and the US.

That’s part of the regional perspective - as well as local hopes - shaping up as Trump, 70, is sworn into office today in Washington.

Caricom communications director Leonard Robertson, confirming the regional position yesterday, said US- Caricom relations will be a front-burner discussion issue at the upcoming Caricom intersessional meeting in Guyana.

Regional leaders, including Prime Minister Keith Rowley will attend the meeting over February 17-18.

“You can never second guess what any new administration will do, though we expect relations will continue as they have been,” Robertson added, speaking from Guyana.

“As Caricom’s Council of regional ministers said at last week’s meeting, the US continues to be one of the region’s biggest trading partners. We also have security arrangements with them - so we await.”

Robertson said Caricom states are making individual arrangements for attendance at today’s inauguration of 45th US President, Trump.

Trump will take the oath of office at noon witnessed by his third wife Melania, family and supporters.

Outgoing President Barack Obama will escort Trump to the podium to be sworn in, following which Obama and his family will leave Washington.

Trump’s defeated opponent Hillary Clinton is among invitees to today’s event. But the function is being boycotted by almost 60 US Democratic representatives who disagree with Trump’s views .

It will also be marked by large protests from certain groups in Washington and other locations between today and tomorrow.

Two probes - done by US security and intelligence agencies on alleged Russian interference in the US Presidential election - will cast a further shadow over the inauguration.

US media reports that Trump’s 20-minute inaugural speech which he wrote himself, will focus on his “America First” theme, anti-terrorism security and shared US values.

Yesterday Attorney General Faris Al Rawi said, “T&T has always had a very strong relationship with the US and I’m confident we’ll have an excellent, supportive relationship. “

“My office has very strong link with the US’ Justice and Treasury Departments and National Security also has deep links with the US’s military Southern Command, the Drug Enforcement Agency and Homeland Security almost on a daily basis.”